Learning in Technologies involves the use of knowledge, understanding and skills learned in other learning areas, particularly in English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, The Arts, Health and Physical Education and Economics and Business.
In schools across Australia there is strong support for linking learning in Technologies with learning literacy skills. Learning in Technologies places a high priority on accurate and unambiguous communication. The Australian Curriculum: Technologies is supported by and in turn reinforces the learning of literacy skills. Students need to describe objects and events; interpret descriptions; read and give instructions; generate and explore ideas with others; write design briefs and specifications, marketing texts, evaluation and variation reports; and participate in group discussions.
The Technologies curriculum provides contexts within which Mathematics understanding, fluency, logical reasoning, analytical thought and problem-solving skills can be applied and developed. Computational thinking particularly draws on mathematical understanding and skills. In Technologies, students process data using tables, lists, picture graphs, column graphs and line graphs. In Mathematics, students' data analysis skills will develop to include scatter plots, linear graphs and the gradient of graphs. This will enhance their ability to analyse patterns and trends in data as part of technologies investigations. In Mathematics, students learn statistical methods that may be applied to quantitative analysis of data in Technologies.
Students develop their use of metric units in both the Mathematics and Technologies curriculums. The ability to convert between common metric units of length and mass and their use of decimal notation in Mathematics will enable them to represent and compare data in meaningful ways in Technologies. Students use spatial understandings developed in Mathematics to apply knowledge of geometry, shapes and angles in Technologies. When considering systems at a vast range of scales in Technologies, students use their mathematical knowledge of timescales and intervals.
Technologies provide tools for automating mathematical processes which reinforce concepts in Mathematics. Students’ mathematical ability to solve problems involving linear equations can be used in Technologies when investigating quantitative relationships and designing algorithms.
The Technologies curriculum complements the Science curriculum. Both Technologies and Science emphasise creating preferred futures and the use of systems thinking. Science develops the overarching ideas of patterns, order and organisation, stability and change, scale and measurement, matter and energy, and systems as key aspects of a scientific view of the world. Students draw on these ideas when creating solutions and considering the role of technologies in society.
Design and Technologies draws on concepts from biological, chemical and physical sciences to solve problems and design solutions to meet human needs and opportunities. Links with the Science curriculum allow for applications of scientific concepts through critiquing and applying prior knowledge to designing real-world solutions that are meaningful to students. For example, students apply scientific concepts when designing in an engineering context. Students apply knowledge of forces and characteristics and properties of materials. They conduct appropriate scientific investigations of materials, processes and prototypes.
The Digital Technologies curriculum provides many techniques and technologies for automating the collection, storage and analysis of scientific data. The development of digital technologies such as data loggers, spreadsheets, databases, simulations and imaging technologies have been central to advances in science. They are used to collect and organise a wide range of data and to derive information by filtering, analysing and visualising large volumes of numerical, categorical and structured data. Digital Technologies gives students the skills to represent data in ways that enable computational analysis. Scientists use digital technologies to develop software for simulating, modelling and analysing biological, chemical and physical systems. Digital technologies give students the skills to implement simulations and gain a deeper understanding of concepts and models in Science by interacting with simulations.
History provides another avenue to understand how technologies develop and how their developments are a source of historical facts and artefacts. The creation and development of technologies has had an impact on and influenced society and future innovations. In the Knowledge and understanding strands students will develop increasingly sophisticated knowledge and understanding, drawn from contemporary and historical sources. It is important that students learn that technologies have developed through the gradual accumulation of knowledge over many centuries; that all sorts of people – including people like themselves – use and contribute to the development of technologies. Historical studies of technologies in a range of societies including the peoples and countries of Asia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures extending to modern times will help students understand the contributions of people from around the world.
Technologies knowledge, understanding and skills can be applied using a range of contexts from the Geography curriculum. From the early years students sort information, find patterns and interact with digital systems as they develop spatial understandings, particularly as they create, interpret and use maps. They use directional language, understand scale and distance, and record data related to weather. They create products and systems that measure and further develop their understanding of the influences of climate and weather conditions. They use digital tools to collect and sort information and data and there is a significant emphasis on digital and spatial technologies.
Students strengthen their Technologies understanding and skills as they study the environmental characteristics of places, processes and human significance. During their investigations they collect and convert data into useful forms using spreadsheets, graphs and distribution maps. Students consolidate their understandings of sustainability as they investigate the significance to humans of the biophysical environment and design and manage projects that enhance their understanding of the fine balance between the environment and human endeavour. See also Australian Curriculum connections − Food and fibre production in the Australian Curriculum.
Through Design and Technologies, concepts and learning that are addressed in Geography are contextualised through the design and production of products, services and environments through specific targeted projects that relate to sustainability, the environment and society. Students critique, design and produce solutions for managed and constructed environments. Learning is further enhanced through authentic activities that focus on enterprising and innovative solutions to perceived needs.
The Technologies curriculum complements The Arts curriculum, particularly in the application of the elements and principles of design in Visual Arts and in the use of digital technologies in Media Arts. Through the Technologies curriculum, aspects of aesthetics are incorporated into the design processes in Technologies learning activities. This occurs when students design products and environments including those with a focus on graphics technologies. Knowledge of materials, tools and equipment and the ways they can be used to create designed solutions provides links between Technologies and two and three-dimensional design in Visual Arts. Skills developed in Visual Arts such as representing and exploring creative ideas through sketching and drawing complement processes used in Design and Technologies to generate ideas to create solutions. See also: Australian Curriculum connections − Design in the Australian Curriculum.
Students use multimedia in a range of learning areas in the Australian Curriculum to communicate evidence of their learning. Explicit content descriptions describing knowledge, understanding and skills in multimedia are found in Digital Technologies and Media Arts. Also in Design and Technologies students may produce designed solutions with a multimedia focus through the technologies context, Materials and technologies specialisations, for example graphics technologies. See also: Australian Curriculum connections − Multimedia in the Australian Curriculum.
The Australian Curriculum: Technologies takes account of what students learn in Health and Physical Education (HPE). In the movement and physical activity strand of HPE, students develop and practise small motor coordination skills which help them develop and apply manipulative skills in Technologies In the personal, social and community health strand in HPE, students learn about food and nutrition, which is then applied in Technologies to the selection and preparation of food when designing healthy food solutions. See also: Australian Curriculum connections − Food and nutrition in the Australian Curriculum.
Some states and territories offer Home Economics as a subject, or home economics related subjects. Elements of learning in home economics subjects will draw from content in both Health and Physical Education and Technologies in the Australian Curriculum. See also: Australian Curriculum connections − Home economics in the Australian Curriculum.
In Economics and Business students develop enterprising behaviours and capabilities that can be applied in Technologies when students are creating solutions for a range of audiences. In Technologies students will apply knowledge from Economics and Business including resource allocation and making choices, consumer and financial literacy, and work and work futures. The Economics and Business skills strand focuses on the skills of questioning and research; interpretation and analysis; economic reasoning, decision-making and application; and communication and reflection. These skills can be applied in Technologies when students create solutions and consider the suitability of enterprise and marketing for these solutions. Students also reflect on how enterprise can contribute to the evolution and development of solutions.